The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage this week dipped to its lowest level in more than a year, bringing borrowing costs down for home buyers and refinancers.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular loan among home buyers, averaged 3.80 percent this week, meaning that it has remained below 4 percent for every week except for two since Oct. 16, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

Still, “the temporary decline in rates will likely be short-lived,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at®. “Those who can take advantage now and lock in a purchase or refinance at these levels may never see these rates again. This is likely the last of the low rates. We’re likely to see increases in the weeks ahead.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 18:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.80 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.93 percent. The 30-year rate was at its lowest average this week since May 2013. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.47 percent. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage’s record low was set on Nov. 21, 2012, when it averaged 3.31 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.09 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.20 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.52 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.95 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.98 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs averaged 2.38 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.40 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.56 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac and “Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest Level of the Year Again,”® (Dec. 18, 2014)